Friday, February 3, 2017

GWPF Newsletter: Trump To ‘Honour Pledge To Withdraw From Paris Agreement’, Ebell Says








GWPF & FPA Press Briefing with Myron Ebell

In this newsletter:

1) Trump To ‘Honour Pledge To Withdraw From Paris Agreement’, Ebell Says
Argus Media News, 30 January 2017
 
2) GWPF & FPA Press Briefing with Myron Ebell
GWPF TV, 30 January 2017
 
3) Trump’s Energy U-Turn Will Benefit Developing Nations’
Energy News Live, 30 January 2017
 
4) UN Climate Chief Warns Trump Not To Pull Out Of Paris Accord
Deutsche Press Agentur, 28 January 2017
 
5) And Finally: Scientists ‘Partly To Blame’ For Skepticism Of Evidence In Policymaking, says AAAS CEO
Science Mag, 30 January 2017 

Full details:

1) Trump To ‘Honour Pledge To Withdraw From Paris Agreement’, Ebell Says
Argus Media News, 30 January 2017

US president Donald Trump will honour his campaign pledge to pull the US out of the Paris climate agreement and defund UN climate programmes, a former adviser to the new administration has said.

Myron Ebell served as head of the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) transition team from early September until 19 January, when he helped to draft an advisory action plan on how to implement Trump’s campaign promises.

At a press briefing held by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) and the Foreign Press Association (FPA) in London today, Ebell declined to divulge any details of the EPA document on the grounds that it is confidential. 




But Ebell, a well-known climate change sceptic and head of the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s (CEI) energy and environment centre, outlined Trump’s “very clear” promises on energy and the environment that he is convinced the new president will honour.

Apart from withdrawing from the UN climate deal, Trump will also potentially repeal all of the previous administration’s EPA rules on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions including the clean power plan and the climate action plan.

Ebell expects Trump “to be very assiduous in keeping his promises despite all the flack he is going to get from his opponents,” adding that he brings a “message of hope” in terms of the new administration’s energy and environment policy.

The first hopeful aspect is that the US will clearly change course on climate policy, Ebell said. Secondly, the new US president has undertaken to unleash US energy production growth. Trump said he wants to make the US the world’s largest energy producer and achieve a position of global dominance for the country, he said.

“This is obviously good for the US, but also for the world because in becoming the top global energy supplier the US will reduce the influence of certain countries in the Middle East and of Russia,” Ebell said. “This is going to happen because the US has the world’s largest fossil fuel reserves — by far the largest coal reserves and also, because of the shale revolution, gigantic fields of natural gas and oil.”

An apparent contradiction emerged in recent weeks between Trump’s position and that of his incoming secretary of state Rex Tillerson, who said the US will “remain part” of UN climate discussions. When asked about these contrasting positions, Ebell said it is impossible for him to predict the outcome, but “in a disagreement with the president, who do you think will win?”

Ebell outlined three major ways in which Trump can annul US participation in the Paris climate deal. In the first instance, the president can simply stop any US financial contributions to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). In any event, all US funding to the UNFCCC, including to the Green Climate Fund, represents a violation of US law ever since Palestine — which is not internationally recognised as a legitimate state — was accepted as a UNFCCC member, Ebell argued.

Trump can have the US Congress reject the Paris agreement on the basis that legally it is a treaty and does not qualify as an executive presidential order. He can also withdraw the US from the UNFCCC altogether, which according to Ebell would be “the cleanest way” as it would absolve the US from any commitments, financial or otherwise, under the UNFCCC and the Paris climate deal.

Full story

For full media coverage click here

2) GWPF & FPA Press Briefing with Myron Ebell
GWPF TV, 30 January 2017

A video of the full press conference with Myron Ebell organised by the Global Warming Policy Foundation (GWPF) and the Foreign Press Association (FPA) is available here.




3) Trump’s Energy U-Turn Will Benefit Developing Nations’
Energy News Live, 30 January 2017
Jonny Bairstow

President Trump’s fossil fuel policy U-turn will benefit developing nations and the fuel poor. 

That’s according to Myron Ebell, former Head of President Trump’s Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Transition Team, who told ELN he expected the President to follow through on his promise to pull out of the Paris Agreement.
 


For interview click image above

Speaking at a press conference earlier today, he said: “President Trump promised during the campaign that the US would withdraw from the Paris Climate Treaty, so I assume he will do that. He seems very intent on keeping his promises so I have no reason to think that he won’t.

“I think that this is a very hopeful sign for the world. Not only is the US changing direction but I think it offers hope for a brighter future for people all around the world particularly those in developing countries who do not have access to modern energy or have very limited access to modern energy.”

Mr Ebell felt that despite criticism from environmentalists and even other governments, President Trump would not change his mind and was not worried about any economic fallout from the decision as he believes the markets will always drive investment.

“If any new energy technology is better and cheaper than coal, oil and natural gas, the market will take care of it. You don’t need government action, you don’t need government policies – if wind and solar power or some other renewable technology becomes a better buy than fossil fuels, then they will come to dominate the market quite quickly. That’s the way free markets work.”

Mr Ebell told ELN he expected huge staff cuts at the EPA, either voluntarily or via redundancy.

He also suggested that Donald Trump could pull the US out of the Paris Agreement signed by former-President Obama last year as soon as possible and probably by using an executive order.

4) UN Climate Chief Warns Trump Not To Pull Out Of Paris Accord
Deutsche Press Agentur, 28 January 2017

United Nations climate chief Patricia Espinosa has warned US President Donald Trump not to pull out of the Paris climate accord.

"Ultimately, this is about the competitiveness of the United States," Espinosa, a former foreign minister who heads the Bonn-based UN Climate Change Secretariat, told dpa in an interview.

During the election campaign, Trump repeatedly called for a renegotiation of the UN accord, whose aim is to keep global temperature increases well below 2 degrees Celsius by transforming the global economy away from fossil fuels this century.

"We do not know what he will do - all we know so far is that his stance differs from that of the Obama administration," Espinosa said.

The hard-won accord reached by some 195 nations in December 2015 is viewed sceptically by Trump, who has indicated that climate change is a hoax and said environmental regulations were "out of control" at a recent meeting with US carmakers.

5) And Finally: Scientists ‘Partly To Blame’ For Skepticism Of Evidence In Policymaking, says AAAS CEO
Science Mag, 30 January 2017
Jeffrey Mervis

A U.S. president needs more than access to high-quality technical experts to deal with the inevitable science-related global crisis—a new outbreak of avian flu in Southeast Asia, say, or a tsunami triggered by an earthquake off the Chilean coast—that could occur at any time, says AAAS CEO Rush Holt. The president also must believe that scientific evidence is useful in setting government policy.

But Holt is worried that the new Trump administration doesn’t subscribe to that second condition. And scientists are partly to blame for what he sees as the growing devaluation of evidence by U.S. policymakers, Holt suggested this past Saturday in remarks at the winter meeting of the American Physical Society in Washington, D.C.

“How did we get to this point?” says Holt, a physicist who served 16 years in Congress before taking the top job at AAAS (which publishes ScienceInsider) in 2015. “Too often, we scientists have presented the evidence in a way that was condescending and hierarchical. We might say, ‘Let me try to explain this to you. Maybe even you can understand this.’ And that is not very effective. So we are partly to blame.”

That haughty attitude has generated a backlash within the body politic against all types of scientific evidence, Holt argues. “Because people feel they cannot evaluate the validity of our conclusion,” he explains, “it becomes simply one person’s assertion. And then someone says, ‘My scientist says this,’ or even, ‘My Facebook interlocutor says this.’ And people feel it’s not their place to judge, because they’ve been told they are not scientists. So the question is, can we restore their sense of confidence, and empower them to think about evidence for themselves?”

Full post 

The London-based Global Warming Policy Forum is a world leading think tank on global warming policy issues. The GWPF newsletter is prepared by Director Dr Benny Peiser - for more information, please visit the website at www.thegwpf.com.


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